Easter Bunny Legend and Easter Eggs
Easter Bunny, also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare, is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, representing a rabbit bringing Easter Eggs.
For many people of the Christian faith, Easter is the most important holiday of the year. Christians around the world, celebrate the resurrection of Jesus during Easter holiday. In addition to it`s religious importance, Easter is also a popular secular holiday. Thanks to its association to Easter Bunny, to Easter decorated Eggs and, of course, to all that Easter candies.
First recorded celebration of Easter was back in the 2nd century, but it probably goes back even further than that. According to one popular theory, early Christians adopted Easter from a pagan festival, celebrating EOSTRE, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. The goddess consorted with a hare , fact that was the original inspiration for today`s Easter Bunny. But it appears little evidence exist to support this story. So, where did the Easter Bunny actually come from?
Rabbits and Hares in Symbolism
The hare was a popular motif in medieval church art. Back in that time, hares were considered to be hermaphrodites. The idea that hares could reproduce themselves without loss of virginity, led to the association with the Virgin Mary. Eggs, like hares and rabbits , are fertility symbols from ancient times.
Rabbits are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life, two ideas strong associated with Spring and with Easter. The connection between rabbits and Easter arose in Europe in the 17th century, and was probably brought to America a century later, by the German immigrants.
The Easter Bunny is not the only animal symbol of this holiday. In Switzerland, a cuckoo delivers the Easter Eggs, while in different parts of Germany, children wait for the Easter Fox/Chick/Rooster.
Even though eggs also symbolize fertility and renewal, they may have become popular on Easter for a more practical reason. For centuries, the Christian Church banned eggs, along with other animal provenience food, during the Lent. It became a special treat to eat them again at Easter. As a special dish, they would probably have been decorated as part of the celebration.
Decorating Eggs is one of the oldest Easter customs. One of History`s most lavish Easter traditions, developed in late 19th century Russia, when royalty and other members of the high society, began giving each other jewelry decorated eggs as Easter gifts. Read more about Peter Carl Faberge’s Easter Eggs.
Many Christians of the Catholic and Orthodox Church dye their Easter eggs red, the color of blood, in recognition of the blood of the sacrificed Christ. Some also use the color green, the symbol of the renewal of life during springtime.
As the legend says, you have to be a good child or adult in order to receive gifts of colored eggs in the nest prepared for the Easter Bunny. Or is it the Easter cuckoo? Or the Easter Fox?
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